PEI

Some P.E.I. police forces rolling out e-tickets

Handwritten tickets could become a thing of the past as the electronic equivalent becomes available to law enforcement officers on Prince Edward Island. 

'Ideally we would totally do away with paper tickets'

The tickets are printed inside the police cars on special thermal paper. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

Handwritten tickets could become a thing of the past as the electronic equivalent becomes available to law enforcement officers on Prince Edward Island. 

P.E.I. RCMP, Kensington police and Summerside police are all part of the provincial initiative which rolled on out Jan. 23. 

"Ideally we would totally do away with paper tickets," Staff Sgt. Kevin Baillie told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin.

"The reality is there will be circumstances where there may be a hardware or software issue that precluded a member from writing an e-ticket."

'Working very well'

The tickets are printed inside the police cars on special thermal paper. And despite one minor printer problem over the weekend, Baillie said so far the switch is operating nicely.

'We certainly want to encourage officers to get into e-ticketing,' says RCMP Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie. (John Robertson/CBC)

"A number of tickets, e-tickets, were written yesterday, a number have been written today," he said.

"The platform itself is working very well."

A news release from the province said training is underway to ensure police have the necessary equipment to implement e-ticketing. 

But, agencies can still issue handwritten tickets too.

'Less than half the time'

According to Baillie, the change will have several positive impacts for officers on the Island. 

"There will be no misspelling of names or transposing of digits in a date of birth or other pertinent information," he said. 

"A number of tickets get rejected because of errors on the ticket."

P.E.I. RCMP, as well as Summerside and Kensington police are rolling out e-tickets. (Nicole Williams/CBC )

Baillie said the system is also expected to be a huge time saver. 

"It takes less than half the time ... to write an e-ticket as opposed to a paper ticket," he said. 

"The less time that the officer's out on the side of the road with a motorist, the safer it's going to be for the officer and other roadway users."

Plans for the future

But it's not only the officers on the road who will benefit. 

Back at the office, Baillie said ticket information will no longer need to be input manually. Instead, it will be directly uploaded from the police car.

Hopefully, eventually we'll be able to send e-tickets right to the courthouse almost immediately— Staff-Sgt. Kevin Baillie

"That data is already entered saving someone quite a bit of time in doing data entry." 

And soon, Baillie said the goal is to also be able to have that ticket information sent straight to the courthouse.

"One of the problems now is an officer writes a ticket today, it may take up to a week for that ticket to get down to the courthouse."

That means if the person goes to the courthouse before the ticket arrives, they will be unable to pay it. 

"Hopefully, eventually we'll be able to send e-tickets right to the courthouse almost immediately and get rid of that." 

More from CBC P.E.I

With files from CBC News: Compass

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